The Charles is a magnet for many Boston families, whether it's for a paddle down the river or a perfect fall day hanging out on the Esplanade. And this time of year, when the leaves are turning and the riverfront is at its most beautiful, countless families flock to the Head of the Charles Regatta, one of the world’s most competitive rowing races, when more than ten thousand rowers compete for nearly half a million spectators. Watching the rowers from the riverbank is an annual tradition for many Bostonians—but with the crowds and uncertain seating arrangements, it can be tricky to navigate with kids. After several years of attending the Head of the Charles, I have some helpful hints to keep you and your family warm and happy while you watch the race.
Latest posts by Fiona Haley
In Britain and Ireland, finding a pub is like shooting fish in a barrel. Over here, these cozy, community-oriented bars that combine good food and drinks are fewer, and finding one where you can bring your kids is even trickier, still. And yet, Boston is the proud home of some truly great family-friendly pubs where you can take your kids to eat in a lively atmosphere, and everyone will go home happy. We've covered some Irish-inspired stalwarts that are the places to be on St. Patty's Day...here, we're running through some of our fave options for grabbing some kid-friendly food, a proper pint for the grown-ups, and some fun family bonding anytime—all in an atmosphere that's suitable for babies through teens.
For many kids, learning to ride a horse is a distant dream. The good news? That dream could become a reality with several stables and farms offering lessons within easy driving distance of Boston. Some cater to beginners, and others only to committed equestrians, but they all offer lessons to kids dreaming of riding into the sunset. Find more interesting, out-of-box athletic programs in our class guide.
As summer winds down, it’s time to think about what activities will entertain your family in the fall. Luckily, Boston offers dozens of performances that will amaze and delight your kids. From traveling circuses to local children’s theater, here's a list of some of the best shows of the autumn. Whether your kids are in the mood for The Nutcracker or a comedy show with rescued pets, we’ve got you covered—so sit back, relax, and enjoy the show!
On the list of things Boston is flush with—green space, top universities, a maddening number of rotaries—museums are a particular point of pride. We boast some of the world's best, but it's been awhile since one could call itself "new." Enter Dreamland. As visitors to Government Center may have noticed, the Dreamland Wax Museum just had its grand opening in July. With more than 100 wax figures, Dreamland is definitely a different sort of experience than you might find on the neighboring Freedom Trail and Faneuil Hall. I recently visited with my 12-year-old son, my seven-year-old daughter, and an eight-year-old friend, and here's our take on whether the museum is cool or creepy. (Spoiler alert: It's a little bit of both).
Looking for more ways to get outside with kids this summer? Whether you’re sporting two wheels or four, riding a bike is efficient, economical, healthy, environmentally friendly, and fun—and just about anyone can do it. One great thing about our area is just how bike-friendly it is, from city to suburbs.
As part of a plan to turn Boston into a world-class bicycling city, The Boston Bikes program is working to expand safe biking options for all riders. Boston Bikes helps to design streets for cycling (including bike lanes), provides free bikes to low-income residents, and offers a city bikeshare program. Don’t forget that you can access many of these trails on the T, which allows bikes—or if you don’t have your own bikes, you can use Boston’s Hubway rental program. Beyond city limits, there are plenty of beautiful—and safe!—places where riders of various ages and abilities can bike together, ranging from flower-filled arboretums to waterfront pathways. Here are our picks for family-friendly bike trails around our town.
Maybe you’ve been wondering: what is a CSA? Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs allow members to buy shares in local harvests. As a CSA member, you pay for a season of produce, and receive weekly boxes or bags of prime pickings from the farm. We joined one recently, and found it was a great, economical way to get kids to try healthy new foods—and support our local farm at the same time.
There are a few catches about joining a CSA. First, you don't typically get to pick what arrives in your share each week, which can prove daunting if you have children who are seriously picky or have rigid nutritional needs. If you are gone for much of the growing season, paying for weekly vegetables might not make a ton of sense—though many some farms allow you to skip weeks. But if you're mainly local, interested in trying to eat more regional produce, and are willing to get a little creative with your cooking, a CSA is definitely worth trying.
For my family, it worked out well, and my kids ended up trying a lot of new fruits and vegetables that I might never have bought in the store (though we did end up feeding our backyard bunny more than his fair share of dandelion greens). Some of the CSA programs, like Wilson Farm, offer recipes and suggestions for what to do with your share, which are really helpful.
With such a wide variety of options including the programs below, you're likely to find a CSA that will work for your family. Many offer deliveries or conveniently located pick up sites, and there is an array of prices and sizes and produce choices from which to choose. Should you decide to join one, everybody wins: you get fresh, healthy food and local farmers get the financial support they need and deserve.
Father’s Day is just around the corner, and there's a vast array of crafty places where kids can make a special gift for their favorite guy. Whether it’s making a masterpiece before the holiday or going as a family to make something together, Boston kids have plenty of opportunities over the next couple weeks to create gifts above and beyond a construction paper card or bottle of aftershave. From sand art knick-knacks to handmade wooden games, there's a gift-making opportunity to suit every child—and every kind of Dad.